How time can improve the measurement of viewability

Andrew Casale, VP of strategy at Casale Media backs a new online currency.

The need for better online and mobile measurement has been debated on MiC in recent weeks, and Andrew Casale, VP of strategy at Casale Media is adding to that discussion, suggesting there is room for a new online currency in the market.

Casale brought up cost-per-second buying during a conversation at last week’s Mindshare Canada Huddle, a day-long event aimed at informing staff and clients about upcoming industry trends. The new suggested currency, which is being debated in the US and Canada, aims to tie viewability to the amount of time users actually spend looking at an ad, bringing greater value to sites and content that audiences spend more time with.

As it stands, an ad is considered viewable when a minimum of 50 percent of its pixels are in view for a minimum of one second. One issue Casale says exists with viewability is that there are multiple players using different methodologies to certify viewability, which causes friction between publishers trying to use the metric.

He adds the metric can be bolstered to become a currency by adding time into the equation and raising rates for ads that have been in view for a longer period of time.

“To hit the viewability metric it’s a few seconds of screen time,” he says. “But if you have an ad on a piece of content that the user is super engaged on, they might be on the content for a minute. Or you could be looking up a word in the dictionary and the ad is still loaded and viewable but didn’t make the same impression. To bridge the divide and move to a better metric than the served ad, which everyone agrees isn’t a good metric, can we find a way to tease out the value publishers are driving with a well curated, super-engaged audience?”

Casale says the details behind bringing the new currency to life, like whether it would be done on a cost-per-second basis or in time blocks and how it will work across platforms, are still being determined, but adds the path to bringing it to market could be faster than the current debate around viewable impressions has been.